For the 2012 SU lax team, deciding who will fill the void in goal left by John Galloway has proven to be extremely difficult. The Orange opened the season this weekend with a 12-7 win over Albany and prepares to host Army next. But, Syracuse¬†still hasn‚Äôt decided who will be the regular starting goaltender.¬†Against the Great Danes, John Desko didn’t provide any insight into the battle.¬†Redshirt sophomore Matt Lerman played the first half, sophomore Dom Lamolinara the second. Orange fans left the Carrier Dome wondering the same thing they did upon arriving: who will be the safety net for this young defense?
- Follow The Fizz on Twitter for in-game updates from SU lax
Before the Albany game Lerman convincingly¬†The Fizz¬†he deserved the nod.
‚ÄúYeah. I do [deserve the start]. I definitely think I do. It‚Äôs been a long two years learning and it was a good fall. I‚Äôve proven myself as a starter and I‚Äôm ready to get out there and help this team win. And I‚Äôm ready to show everyone that I‚Äôm not just John Galloway‚Äôs replacement, that I‚Äôm the starting goalie for SU lacrosse.‚Äù
You have to appreciate Lerman’s patience. He has waited in the wings behind one of the all-time great SU goalies, and is ready to step up and have a statement season.¬†¬†Lerman learned a very important lesson from Galloway: the importance of clearing the ball. It was a JG trademark and is an advantage Matt has over Lamolinara. He says the permanent starting job would be a huge step for him.
‚ÄúIt would mean the world. This is my life. It‚Äôs been a long time that I‚Äôve been preparing to play in college. It‚Äôs finally time to get out there and show everyone that I‚Äôm more than capable.‚Äù
Lerman certainly made his time in goal against Albany count. He made 6 saves and cleared the ball successfully 11 times out of 12.
But Lamolinara is making his case as well. The Maryland transfer outperformed Lerman in an exhibition matchup against his old team, notching 5 saves to Lerman’s 3. DL also allowing only 3 goals, while Lerman let up 6.¬†Against Albany, the true sophomore was solid again. He made 10 saves and went 12-for-14 clearing the ball.¬†¬†The one criticism would be his fourth quarter. Lamolinara allowed 5 late goals.¬†¬†Regardless of the shaky ending, Lamolinara says this weekend will probably decide the race.
‚ÄúI think I definitely raised a couple of questions. I don‚Äôt think it‚Äôs settled yet. Lerm played great. I think this game against Army is really going to settle it. Coach is going to make the right decision, and whatever that is, I‚Äôm going to go with it.‚Äù
Though he‚Äôs humble in the press room, Lamolinara certainly lays it all out in the crease. The slew of goals he was responsible for in the final minutes against the Danes is hardly representative of his overall performance. Of his 10 saves, many were incredibly skilled moves on high-speed shots going to tough parts of the net. He‚Äôs got what it takes to start, and that‚Äôs why Desko still hasn‚Äôt named a permanent solution in the lineup.
‚ÄúWe‚Äôve been seeing what we‚Äôve been seeing. We‚Äôve got two goaltenders. Today, Matt [Lerman] warmed up pretty well and was ready, but Dom [Lamolinara]¬†was pretty cool in the second¬†half, had some good saves. So, we‚Äôre happy that we‚Äôve got a couple of guys to choose from.‚Äù
Since there‚Äôs no hard answer out of the coaching staff, The Fizz turned to teammates.¬†Defensive powerhouse Brian Megill says he‚Äôs optimistic about the future of the goalie situation, whatever the outcome is.
‚ÄúAll of those guys are great leaders. They do a great job talking, we can hear them, and we‚Äôve got to do a great job talking back to them, and keeping them going.‚Äù
Though the defense relies on the goalie for leadership in games, Lamolinara is comfortable and says the defenders aren‚Äôt shaken by the uncertainty of not knowing who will be in net.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think it‚Äôs that unsettling. They knew going into this year that they were going to have a new goalie. John Galloway was here for four years. These guys had to know that it was going to be a little different. It‚Äôs especially new with me. Whatever I don‚Äôt know, they‚Äôve been teaching me.‚Äù
If four exhibition games and the season opener aren‚Äôt conclusive enough to tell the coaches who should start in goal, we at least know it‚Äôs a two-horse race. After the loss of Galloway, the position was uncertain. The Orange brought seven possible starters to the practice field. After a week, it‚Äôs been chiseled down to two: Lerman or Lamolinara.
Posted: Jake Moskowitz